France bans English player slang in favor of much more elaborate French alternatives

As part of France’s ongoing effort to preserve the purity of its language, the government is banning a number of Anglicized gamblers’ slang in favor of French alternatives.

As reported by The Guardian (opens in new tab), the Culture Ministry cited “a barrier to understanding” for non-gamers as a reason behind the exchange of borrowed words by more traditional French ones. The professional gamer gets a pretty straightforward translation for “joueur professionnel”, which translates to “professional gamer”. Cloud games become “jeu video en nuage”, the translation remains virtually identical to the source material.

Others are a little smarter. The word streamer is now “joueur-animateur en direct”, loosely translating to “direct live player”, which does not have the same meaning. Esports is also given an alternative term, now known as “jeu video de Competition”, which means “competitive play”.

It’s worth noting that technically the new terms are only binding on government officials, with the changes being issued earlier this week. Whether the terms will eventually spread to the general population remains to be seen. Considering that many French people still use terms like “email” instead of the government-mandated “courriel”, it seems quite unlikely.

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